Gun stores in the state of New Jersey are free to reopen for business as of Wednesday, with the state’s Governor rescinding an order that they had to be closed as a part of the state’s Chinese coronavirus state of emergency declaration.
Governor Phil Murphy announced gun stores would be free to re-open at a Monday press conference. The change in policy follows a declaration by the Trump administration that firearms retail and manufacturing businesses are to be considered “essential” under Department of Homeland Security guidelines.
Murphy took a shot at the DHS guidelines, stating that considering firearms businesses essential “wouldn’t be my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level and I didn’t get a vote on that.” He had earlier argued against the notion of lawful firearms ownership at a coronavirus press conference, stating that “a safer society for my taste has fewer guns and not more guns.”
New Jersey is the latest pro-gun control state that has overridden orders that gun retailers and manufacture close. Gun stores in Los Angeles County are finally reopening following a prolonged back-and-forth battle between the county government and county sheriff Alex Villanueva, with the sheriff now being removed as the county disaster executive authority.
The New Jersey state police had stopped conducting background checks for firearms transfers when Murphy originally ordered gun stores closed on March 21st, essentially shutting down the lawful commerce of firearms throughout the entire state. New Jersey has quite possibly the most draconian anti-gun rights laws in the country, routinely being ranked among the worst states for Second Amendment protections.
Americans have rushed to lawfully acquire firearms since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic in the country. Gun and ammo retailers have reported that they’ve sold out of guns and commonly used calibers of ammunition. There’s probably not much more anti-gun states and municipalities could do to erode trust in their authority than to arbitrarily dictate that their citizens cannot acquire guns.
Trump Administration Withdraws Nominee for ATF Director After Evasive Gun Control Answers in Senate
Chuck Canterbury avoided answering questions on gun control.
The Trump administration is withdrawing its nomination for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, after Chuck Canterbury alienated several Republican Senators during his July confirmation hearing for refusing to give an answer to questions regarding his personal opinion on gun laws.
Canterbury avoided answering several questions from GOP senators during his testimony, claiming he didn’t want to express any opinions that contrasted with the stated policy views of the Fraternal Order of Police. Canterbury is the former President of that organization.
Senators such as Louisiana’s John Kennedy questioned Canterbury’s evasive testimony in July.
“I like straight answers, and you are being evasive,” said Kennedy. “You have been nominated to run ATF. I think every member of this panel, both my Democratic friends and Republican friends who have feelings about the Second Amendment, are entitled to know both morally and legally what you believe.”
Canterbury had been asked numerous times about his policy views on matters such as banning so-called “assault weapons.”
The ATF has tremendous power over the American gun industry and Second Amendment community, and in some cases have banned previously legal forms of weapons with impunity. Some firearms enthusiasts have become increasingly skeptical of the agency in recent years, and conservatives have sought additional oversight. High-level ATF leadership have spoken of what they believe to be a conspiracy against their agency, further alienating gun rights supporters.
The Trump administration formally informed the Senate that it was withdrawing Canterbury’s nomination on Tuesday. His ambiguous views towards common gun control proposals had ensured his nomination was stalled, and now pulled.
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